THE BARGAIN BUY: Joy Division; Unknown Pleasures

 |   |  1 min read

Joy Division: New Dawn Fades
THE BARGAIN BUY: Joy Division; Unknown Pleasures

Joy Division's debut album, for the sound of Martin Hannett's production alone, changed the way people thought about music in the post-punk era. Here was glacially smooth and dark music with theatrical intent and a poetic sensibility.

It sounded astonishingly gloomy (lines like "where will it end" and "she's lost control again" leap out at you) but Hannett's spacious production also allowed massive bass lines and mechanistic drumming to create a sonic landscape in which Ian Curtis' vocals sound like they have been beamed in from a distance, both physical and emotional.

A track like Candidate for example would be almost a disjointed art statement if Curtis' vocals were removed.

But it is his delivery and poetry which is the compelling feature: Curtis sings as a man feeling removed from or uncomfortable in the world, he drew on experiences in his job as a social worker confronting the grim misery of his clients (She's Lost Control) but became a kind of Mancunian Sylvia Plath where there are images of white sheets and silent cars beside the road, blood on fingers and "I've seen the nights filled with blood sports and pain".

Curtis is there in every lyric: the observer or participant.

Unknown Pleasures was never an easy listen and some only heard its dark and gloomy qualities, not it's poetry. When people joked that Leonard Cohen was a one-man Joy Division, they didn't realise quite how that was more true than just a superficial reading.JB_HZ_CHEAP_long

One of the great albums of rock era which should be in any collection, it is now less than $10 from JB H-Fi stores (here).

And that is a Bargain Buy

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   The Bargain Buy articles index

THE BARGAIN BUY: Alice Cooper; The Very Best Of

THE BARGAIN BUY: Alice Cooper; The Very Best Of

Although this 14-song collection falls far short of its title -- classics like I'm Eighteen, Billion Dollar Babies, School's Out and No More Mr Nice Guy are all live versions from his '95 album... > Read more

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Sony "Original Album Classics" series: What happened to hippies?

THE BARGAIN BUY: The Sony "Original Album Classics" series: What happened to hippies?

Indeed, just what did happen to hippies? Well, some stayed true to the code, others became yuppies, some argued computer technology was the new path to universal peace through better... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

ERIKA DARKSSON INTERVIEWED (2018): What lies beneath

ERIKA DARKSSON INTERVIEWED (2018): What lies beneath

Warning: The following article contains references to violence, sex and obscene language. Reader discretion is advised. When I look back, I think I was always different from other... > Read more

Stephan Micus: Snow (ECM/Ode)

Stephan Micus: Snow (ECM/Ode)

Multi-instrumentalist Micus first crossed my path about two decades back with his beguiling Wings Over Water album on which he played (among other things) tuned flowerpots. You don't easily... > Read more